Safe Mode

Hmm, what was that I was saying about December sunshine? Things were looking a bit less inviting for cycling this morning, especially for someone who hasn’t yet put her magical ice tyres on the bike …

frosty start

I’d hoped the overnight frost would have been burned off by the forecast sunshine by the time I needed to set off for Bigtown, but instead we got fog, which was barely thinning by mid morning – and once down in the valley, it was thicker than ever.

foggy road

As cyclists we get lots of safety advice, much of it unhelpful, but there’s one thing I don’t see repeated anything like enough – for cyclists and drivers alike – and that’s to allow enough time, especially when conditions are challenging.

fog and sunshine

I know myself that when I’m in a hurry, that’s when I’m going to take those little extra chances which are normally fine, but occasionally end up with an altercation (or worse) with an equally impatient driver. Being in a rush also makes us less likely to be empathetic (there’s even some ingenious research I read with trainee priests that showed they were less likely to stop and help someone if they were in a hurry to get somewhere, even if the thing they were in a hurry to go and do was to preach a sermon on the Good Samaritan) which doesn’t help on the roads much either.

river and fog

So today, I made sure I’d left myself loads of time – to get off and walk if I needed to if the back roads were icy. Not perhaps as satisfying as steel spikes on your tyres … but just as important when it comes to keeping safe.

frost and trees

And if it turns out the roads weren’t too bad after all? Then there’s all the more time to stop and take photos …

temperature inversion

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5 Responses to Safe Mode

  1. Flighty says:

    Good pictures. I’ve never liked being in a rush, so always allow plenty of time. xx

  2. Lizzie says:

    Very interesting, both your comments and the article you linked to. I don’t know whether I succeed but I have always tried to live my life in such a way that I’ve got time for things like stopping to chat to someone. So many people complain that they “don’t have time”…… and imply that their busyness is somehow forced upon them, even when it isn’t.

    And yes, it’s so important to allow plenty of time for one’s journey. I set off to join my local cycling group for a ride recently but due to setting off rather later than I should have (I actually had plenty of time – I just didn’t organise myself properly!) I panicked slightly and took wrong turnings through a rabbit warren of a local estate. I got there only just in time to join the ride and missed out on the early chit chat. Lesson learned!

  3. disgruntled says:

    I do try and leave plenty of time – but I also hate to be late, so I often end up feeling quite rushed anyway.

  4. welshcyclist says:

    Looks like a great pedal.

  5. Charles says:

    In five minutes that man will be late! I think it might have been Uncle Mat in Love in a cold climate, but it was certainly my father, my first boss and the way I have run my life…

    Fisherman always have time to look and chat, it postpones the disappointment.

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